I had the pleasure of having Gary Griffith here in my office a couple of hours ago. He is a gentleman among men. He left me some samples to try and after a quick lunch I'm lighting up an AF2, really interested in the Pennsylvania Ligero filler beneath Habano oscuro wrapper. I look forward to getting his cigars in our shops. Thanks, Gary. jm
Review: Emilio La Musa Mousa Corona Gorda (Prerelease)
After what seemed like years of inaction, Emilio cigars has exploded, announcing seven new blends that will be for sale soon or before the end of the year and even more in 2013. Among them is a rebranding of one of their most popular cigars, the Grimalkin, which will now be known as La Musa Mousa. It’s one of four total planned lines as part of the La Musa brand.
Charlie had this to say in the original news story:
Earlier this morning, Gary Griffith of Emilio Cigars announced that Grimalkin’s new name would be La Musa by Emilio Cigars. For the past month or so it has been known that Grimalkin’s name would be changing, yet it was unclear as to what. Gary explained the reason for the change on his blog, stating:
“I settled on this name for the cigar because the person it was named for enchanted me, and I used the theme of the eyes because those did as well. But I was always a bit uncomfortable about what subsequent line extensions would be called, and could never quite pull the whole theme together, despite my best efforts. My rather crude attempts to express this with the band drew criticism in the marketplace…. and I listened.”
The three new blends are to be known as Melete, Aoide and Mneme — all Plutarchian muses. The first blend will debut at IPCPR 2012 in August. Previously, Gary indicated that a Corona and a limited edition Lancero would be added to the Grimalkin line.The cigars themselves are to remain the same (blend/factory), with the SLB box getting additional curb appeal. Gary says that the La Musa packaging will be introduced as soon as the Grimalkin inventory is depleted.
And here is what Gary had to say about the La Musa lines specifically:
As most are aware, La Musa is the rebranding of our highly acclaimed Grimalkin cigars, made in Esteli, Nicaragua. There will ultimately be 4 blends in the La Musa series, the first of which, replacing Grimalkin, is simply known as Mousa, the Muse, and is dedicated to a dear and inspiring young friend, whom I often refer to as my muse. The additional 3 blends in the series will be named after he 3 original Plutarchian Muses; Melete, Aoide, and Mneme. We’ve prettied up the packaging a bit, and given the boxes a stone like texture and pattern to go along with the Greek theme. The bands will vary in color but retain the design shown below. Why yellow for the first? Because it is La Musa’s favorite color.The second blend, known as La Musa Melete, will be shown at the IPCPR trade show in August, and will ship shortly thereafter. The Melete blending was completed earlier this year, and yields a somewhat stronger, but equally complex cigar as compared to the original. The Aoide blend, to be released in summer 2013, is a much milder cigar with a tremendous amount of nuance. I’ve added corona to the list of available sizes as a standard production item, along with the existing robusto, toro, and torpedo. Each blend will also see the production of a single release of 250 boxes of lanceros. In 2013 we will also release a La Musa limitado in a single size, toro, which will only be produced one time.
Although prices have not yet been established, the La Musas will come packaged in boxes of 25.
The band of the newly named line will look like this:
But enough of that, lets get down to business, shall we?
- Cigar Reviewed: Emilio La Musa Mousa Corona Gorda (Prerelease)
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Undisclosed
- Wrapper: Habano Rosado
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 5 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 46
- Vitola: Corona Gorda
- MSRP: N/A
- Date to be Released: July 2012
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
La Musa is a wonderful specimen with a dry to the touch pale brown wrapper that has a great triple cap. It’s slightly spongy when squeezed, but there are no obvious soft spots. The wrapper has almost no oil on it and smells strongly of sweet cedar, chocolate, pepper and leather. There is also a slight box-press evident, but whether that is by design, I don’t know.
The first third of the La Musa starts out with just a tad bit of pepper on the retrohale and flavors of cedar, slight sweet cinnamon and a sweet raisin note that really combines well with the rest of the flavors. The draw is perfect, but I am having to touching up the burn a few times, although nothing serious. Almost no spice at all at this point and the strength is nothing more than a mild-medium by the end of the first third.
Coming into the second third of the La Musa and the profile turns more creamy and slightly more sweet. The raisin note turns into more of a bready, graham cracker sweetness, but is still quite nice. Other flavors of cedar, earth, dark chocolate and coffee. Still very little spice, but there is a nice black pepper note on the retrohale that comes and goes. Strength is a stronger medium at this point, and does seem to betting stronger, albeit not very quickly.
The final third of the Emilio creation is much the same profile wise as the second third with some caveats. First, I tasted a very interesting and sadly, fleeting flavor of unflavored popcorn and second, the strength bumped up to a very strong medium, although well under the full mark. Profile notes are pretty much the same as the second third and I don’t mind a bit. The cigar ends wonderfully and it is an easy cigar to nub.
- I have to say, the original band art for the Grimalkin staring at you from the band of the cigar was not only cheesy looking, in is also sort of creepy. Any change would have been better than what he had, and although I don’t love the new bands, the La Musa bands are such a step forward it is not even close.
- The ash is both unattractive and quite flaky, and does not really stay on the cigar very well, but that does not impact the cigar flavors negatively in anyway.
- The draw on all three samples was perfect, but the burn had to be touched up a bit on two of them for the entire smoke. It was not bad enough to bother me that much, but was annoying enough to mention.
- I really can’t wait to see how this blend tastes in a Lancero.
- There seemed to me to be a bit more of a difference in the blends beyond just the change in vitolas from what I remember when smoking some of the original Grimalkins.
- I was very impressed with the consistency of each one of the samples, both in flavors and construction. Each one of them tasted quite similar to the last one, and each one of them had the same flavors at the same times in the smoke, for the most part. The one difference I did note was the popcorn flavor in the final third of the review cigar, as it was only in two of the three samples I smoked and one was quite a bit stronger than the other.
- According to Wikipedia, a Grimalkin is: “an old or evil-looking female cat. The term stems from “grey” (the color) plus “malkin”, an archaic term for a cat, derived from a hypocoristic form of the female name Maud. Scottish legend makes reference to the grimalkin as a faery cat which dwells in the highlands. During the early modern period, the name grimalkin – and cats in general – became associated with the devil and witchcraft. Women tried as witches in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries were often accused of having a familiar, frequently a grimalkin.”
- The samples of this cigar were given to us by Gary Griffith while we were in Nicaragua at Cigar Safari.
- The final smoking time for all three samples averaged around one hour and 15 minutes.
The Bottom Line: I have always loved the Grimalkin blend, and honestly, the Corona Gorda just makes the blend that much better. The profile is quite sweet and flavorful, balanced and not too strong, and remarkably consistent between samples. This is a cigar that I could smoke any time of day and be perfectly satisfied. Having said that, the burn problems were a bit annoying, and I really wish there was just a bit more spice to liven up the flavors a little. Overall a very good cigar, a wonderful addition to the line, and one that I will be getting more of.
Final Score: 89